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Bridgeman [née Weld-Forester], Selina Louisa, countess of Bradford (1819–1894), correspondent of Benjamin Disraeli, was born in London on 17 February 1819, the seventh and youngest child of Cecil, first Baron Forester (1767–1828), MP and landowner, and his wife, née Lady Katherine Manners (1779–1829)...

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Selina Louisa Bridgeman, countess of Bradford (1819–1894) by Edward Clifford, 1876 Copyright of the Trustees of the Weston Park Foundation

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Cuffe [Cuff], Henry (1562/3–1601), classical scholar and secretary to the earl of Essex, is believed to have been the youngest son of Robert Cuffe, of Donyatt, Somerset. The senior branch of the family were modest landowners at Creech St Michael, near Taunton. A ...

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Mary Drew (1847–1927) by Hayman Selig Mendelssohn, c. 1880 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Drew [née Gladstone], Mary (1847–1927), private secretary and author, was born at 13 Carlton House Terrace, London, on 23 November 1847, the third of the four daughters and fifth in the family of eight children of William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898), prime minister, and his wife, ...

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Gower, Sir George Granville Leveson- (1858–1951), autobiographer, politician, and private secretary, was born in London on 19 May 1858, the only child of (Edward) Frederick Leveson-Gower (1819–1907) and his wife, Lady Margaret Mary Frances Elizabeth, née Compton. Granville George Leveson-Gower, second Earl Granville...

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Greville, Algernon Frederick (1798–1864), army officer and private secretary, was born on 29 January 1798, the second son of Charles Greville (1762–1832), fifth son of Fulke Greville of Wilbury, Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Charlotte (d. 28 July 1862), eldest daughter of ...

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Mordaunt [née Fraizer], Carey, countess of Peterborough and Monmouth (c. 1658–1709), political wife, and correspondent of John Locke, was the daughter of Sir Alexander Fraizer, first baronet (1607?–1681), physician to Charles II, and his second wife, Mary Wylde, née Carey (d...

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Morice, Ralph (fl. 1522–1570), principal secretary to Thomas Cranmer, was a younger son of James Morice (d. 1557) of Roydon, Essex, clerk of works to Lady Margaret Beaufort, and his wife, the daughter and heir of a man named Buckbeard. James's eldest son, ...

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Smith, Sir Thomas (c. 1556–1609), secretary to Robert Devereux, second earl of Essex, was the son of Thomas Smith, a burgess of Abingdon, Berkshire (who served as mayor in 1583–4), and Joan Jennings. He attended Abingdon School before entering Christ Church, Oxford, perhaps at the suggestion of ...

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Spence [alias Butler], William (1650/51–1699), conspirator and private secretary, was 'born of mean parents' (CSP dom., 1683, 370) at Sandreford in Fife, the son of Margaret Millar, though Spence is an Orcadian name and local tradition has it that his family hailed from the ...

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Stanhope [née Forester], Anne Elizabeth, countess of Chesterfield (1802–1885), political confidante, second child and eldest daughter of Cecil Forester (later Weld-Forester), first Baron Forester (1767–1828), and his wife, Lady Katherine Manners (1779–1829), second daughter of the fourth duke of Rutland, was born on 7 September 1802. Her father, who inherited ...

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Sylvester, Albert James (1889–1989), political and private secretary, was born on 24 November 1889 in Harlaston, Staffordshire, the eldest of three children and only son of Albert Sylvester, a tenant farmer reduced to the role of farmworker by the agricultural depression, and his wife, ...

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Willyams, Sarah Brydges [née Sarah Mendez da Costa] (d. 1863), heiress and benefactor of Benjamin Disraeli, was the younger daughter of Abraham Mendez da Costa (d. 1782), of Bath, and his wife, Elizabeth Leigh, whom he married in 1775. Sarah was descended from a line of Peninsular–English Jews via ...

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Yonge, Sir Walter, third baronet (bap. 1653, d. 1731), politician and friend of John Locke, was baptized on 8 September 1653 at Sandford, Devon, the first surviving son of Sir Walter Yonge, second baronet (c.1626–1670), politician, of Colyton, Devon, and his wife, ...